KOKTAILS with KOKET: A Cheers to Gender Equality at Dionysos Zonars
A spectacular view of the Acropolis is only the tip of the iceberg at one of the best restaurants in Athens, Greece. Dionysos Zonars is an experience to say the very least! Chiseled stone and marble exterior — a brilliant example of post-war architecture designed by the pioneer architect Prokopis Vasiliadis in the early 1960s; a true classic and modern interior, an indoor sanctuary featuring the great outdoors — designed by the prominent painter Yannis Moralis and his partner, the ceramist Eleni Vernardaki. Starring some of the best mixologists in the world; guests enjoy exquisite drinks with unique combinations that make taste buds dance. Dionysos Zonars is the perfect setting for the kick-off evening of Miranda and her girlfriends’ getaway in Athens. And new beginnings for Candice who discovers she is in need of some female empowerment!
Long dirty blond locks of hair grace Miranda’s shoulders, her dreamy greenish-blue eyes intently gaze at the menu as she points at the various drinks with her shiny French tipped nails. She is stunning at 5’7″, 130 pounds of slim, but curvy femininity wrapped in an all-white Burberry scarf tie dress. Her presence is enticing, and men never hesitate to make advances no matter how inconvenient. She is a 10 and she knows it.
“Excuse me, ma’am. Can I offer you a drink?”
Miranda’s head remains buried in the menu. “I’m married, no thank you.”
The man chuckles. “Ma’am my name is Alec and I am your waiter.”
Miranda’s cheeks became a rosy red while she lifts her head slowly attempting to save face. “Well, you should have stated that from the beginning. I won’t be ready to order until my friends get here.”
“Absolutely, ma’am. I will come back when they arrive.”
Miranda mumbles to herself. “Ughhh so unprofessional…”
Miranda feels a tap on her shoulder and turns around to see her bestie, Brooke. “Hey Randa!” screams Brooke.
Brooke doesn’t give Miranda an opportunity to get up before nearly knocking her out of her chair to embrace.
“Hello Brooke! Please be careful darling, I just had this dress steamed last night. It can’t afford a wrinkle.” Miranda stares at Brooke’s attire with confusion. “Now sweetie, what is this ensemble I see you wearing?”
Brooke looks down at her outfit as if she forgot what she was wearing. “Oh, this? Just something I put together.”
Miranda squints cocking her head to the side to better examine Brooke’s florescent yellow outfit. “I see that. It looks like you brought the sun in the room.”
Brooke has a unique sense of fashion, but she is one of a kind. She too turns heads often, but not just for her beauty, also for her loud personality and loud clothing. She appears racially ambiguous but is a proud daughter to a Haitian and Mexican mother and an Italian father.
Brooke finally takes a seat but not before doing a mini dance. “Well, you look great Randa! And this place is like….like…some sort of magical kingdom, it’s awesome!”
“Yes, it is! Are you sure you haven’t had anything already? You seem very energetic even for you.” Miranda inquires jokingly.
“Girl, please. I am just high off life. I am here with my girls in a beautiful place with beautiful drinks….oh yeah….and beautiful men.”
“Absolutely!” Miranda high-fives’ Brooke. “Except for the men part, I only have eyes for Daniel.”
Brooke rolls her eyes.
“I thought you and Candice came in together.”
Brooke shakes her head. “Oh, we did, but she’s on the phone again.”
“Oh.” Miranda lets out a big sigh.
Miranda quickly perks up in her seat, “Oh, there she is!”
Brooke flairs her arms in the air trying to gesture Candice towards the right table. “Over here! Over here!”
“Sweetie she hears you and sees you, trust me,” Miranda reassures Brooke.
In walks Candice with her cell phone pressed tightly to the side of her head and a huge purse hanging from her right side. Her golden-red hair in a simple up-do, her chandelier style Chopard earrings sway from left to right as she casually walks towards the table.
“Okay little princess, mommy loves you. Muuuuuwahhh. Love you. Bye-bye.” Candice hangs up the phone and approaches the empty seat oblivious to the fact that her girlfriends are intently staring at her.
“Hey Candice!” Miranda breaks the silence before leaving her seat to embrace Candice for almost a full 30 seconds.
Brooke breaks up the reunion. “Damn, Miranda let her breathe! She’s not going anywhere.” Brooke then whispers to Candice loud enough for Miranda to hear. “She’s only excited you’re here cause she’s ready to drink.”
Brooke and Candice share giggles.
“Sweetie, we all know you’re the only one that can’t go through a weekend without an Amaretto Sour.” All the women burst into laughter.
“Ok, ladies once again I want to apologize. You know my baby comes first,” Candice states.
Brook responds. “We get it and we understand that you’re a mother, but you’re finally out on the time of your life. This should be about you for once.”
Miranda shook her head in agreement. “You’re a great mother Candice, but you’ve got to be okay with taking time out for yourself.”
Candice looks genuinely puzzled. “I’m sorry, what are you all talking about? I’m here, far away from home with you all and not with my daughter. It’s only natural to call and check-in.”
“Yes, it’s natural to check-in, but for an hour and thirty minutes, you could have planned your daughter’s sweet sixteen and her wedding. Besides what does a five-year-old need to talk about in that time besides Sesame Street!?” Brooke states in a sarcastic tone.
“Ha Ha very funny…..I’ll have you know that my daughter enjoys long conversations very much,” Candice insists.
Miranda puts up the time out sign. “Ladies…ladies…. we came here to relax and try some of the best cocktails in Athens. Who’s ready to order?”
The women raise their hands in unison.
And sip they do, around the clock. The Sangria Y Arena, the Jenna Said, and the Tear Drop; all are delightful drinks on Dionysos Zonars menu with unique distinct flavors that call for seconds. The ladies compliment their drinks with a signature dessert.
30 minutes later…………
“Ladies, what shall we toast too?” asks Miranda
“I say to great men!” shouts Brooke.
“Well, I say we toast to my wonderful daughter,” adds Candice
Miranda and Brooke both look at each other before rolling their eyes.
“Ok sweeties, I say let’s toast to great friendship!” Miranda declares.
“Great friendship!” the women state in unison.
“And what do great friends do for each other?” Brooke asks.
“Find their great friend a new job.” Miranda answers.
Candice finally catches wind of the conversation. “No….no guys, no thank you. I’m perfectly fine where I am.”
Brooke takes another sip. “You’re fine working for that pathetic chauvinistic bastard that doesn’t respect you?!”
“Sweetie, you really do deserve better. He is taking advantage of your kindness. You are his executive assistant, not his personal assistant.” Miranda adds.
Brooke takes another sip. “More like his personal slave” ….
“He’s not that bad…..he’s just busier than usual and stressed out about the business.”
Brooke and Miranda became very quiet exchanging glances and cautiously sipping from their glasses.
“Look, Candice…..” Brooke starts slowly.
Miranda looks at Brooke sternly. “Brooke, no!”
Candice becomes nervous. “What’s going on you all?”
Brooke looks cautiously at Miranda like a child about to disobey their parent. “Um….um…..the doctor says I might have hemorrhoids.”
“Hemorrhoids Brooke…. really?” Miranda stares at Brooke and shakes her head then turns to Candice. “Sweetie-your-boss-is-going-to-let-you-go.”
Candice replies slowly. “What do you mean…..how do you know that?”
“We heard him.” Brooke and Miranda say in unison. Miranda continues, “It was three weeks ago. We stopped by your job to surprise you, but we didn’t know you were already out on lunch. We passed right by Mr. Stein’s office and we heard everything. He said….”
Brooke jumps in quickly. “He said he would prefer to hire Robie to replace you—whoever that is, but we know he’s a male—……and that he doesn’t want to deal with a female assistant. He said he would be willing to pay him 20 percent more to ensure he gets your position.”
Candice begins to speak softly while staring at the table. “What!?…… I asked him three months ago for a raise. He said it wasn’t in the budget.”
All of a sudden Candice’s face changes from sadness to smiling sinisterly. “Well……I already got him good.”
“Oooo details girl……” Brooke leans in from her chair.
“Well…..the other day…..when I ordered his lunch…..”
“Uh-huh” Miranda also leans in.
“…..I forgot to order mayonnaise on his turkey sandwich…..so he was one unhappy camper…”
“Uhhhhhhhhh…….” Brooke is lost for words.
Miranda lightly kicks Brooke under the table to stop her awkward expression. “Oh yes girl, you showed him! Isn’t that right Randi?”
Miranda smiles from ear to ear. “Candice, consider this a new beginning for you! Let’s celebrate…. we will celebrate your resignation….next round is on me! Excuse me…waiter.”
Brooke looks over at Candice. “Wait, I thought all the rounds were on her. How many drinks did I have?”
Candice laughs and shrugs her shoulders.
The women enjoy another round of their favorite cocktail.
“Sweeties, I would like to have one final toast,” Miranda announces with her glass in the air and her pinky fully extended. “This toast is for every woman……. who has been underpaid…..underappreciated……misrepresented and most importantly not treated as equal by men who believe……”
Brooke interrupts. “Not all men……”
“I didn’t say all darling. What I’m trying to say is…..gender equality all around!”
The women raise their glasses and state in unison. “Gender equality all around!”
Words by Jada Ledbetter
Photos Courtesy of Dionysos Zonars